default-banner

Everything You Need to Know About Cast Urethane Prototyping

02/02/17

If cost is a concern, you should consider using ThermoFlex’s urethane prototype molds which allow for numerous samples with very little tooling cost. 3D printing is very useful in beginning prototype stages but going straight into ordering tooling to produce parts can be risky. To help curb this risk you should consider urethane molding and casting.

A prototype is created this way by a mold that is developed in the shape of your part. Urethane is then poured into the mold and hardened. When you take the part out of the mold, you will see that the prototype is much more similar to the final component than a 3D printed component. The 3D printer creates layers of material on top of each other, but they’re not perfectly fused together. Because of this, a strength test done on one of these prototypes is not totally accurate. The other issue with 3D printing is that the prototype’s surface is required to be “show quality finished,” it will more than likely need to be sanded, primed, and painted. A urethane casted part does not require these extra steps, because the finishing is built right into the mold. Another benefit of this prototyping method is that you can mold many prototypes with a single mold before it wears out. This means that you can try out different materials, material strength, or color all with the same mold.

At ThermoFlex in Morrison, we design, develop, and manufacture prototypes from a vast array of processes and materials. We offer stereolithography, selective laser sintering, cast urethane, and fabricated plastic or wood model rapid prototypes. If you are in the market for any prototyping services, please contact us today. We will work together to figure out what method is best for you.